Metformin Exerts Anti-inflammatory and Mucus Barrier Protective Effects by Enriching Akkermansia muciniphila in Mice With Ulcerative Colitis
ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to determine if metformin exerts anti-inflammatory and mucus-protective effects via the gut microbiota. Metformin has extensive benefits including anti-inflammatory effects. Previous studies showed that metformin changed the gut microbiota composition and increases the number of goblet cells. Intestinal dysbiosis and goblet cell depletion are important features of ulcerative colitis (UC). The underlying mechanism and whether metformin can improve the mucus barrier in UC remain unclear. Metformin (400 mg/kg/day) was administered to mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced UC for 2 wk to investigate the effects of metformin on the intestinal mucus barrier. The gut microbiota was depleted, using antibiotics, to explore its role in the mucus-protecting effects of metformin. Akkermansia muciniphila (A. muciniphila), which was enriched in metformin-treated mice, was administered to mice to investigate the effects of the bacteria on UC and the mucus barrier. Metformin attenuated DSS-induced UC in mice, as evidenced by the alleviation of diarrhea, hematochezia, and the decrease in body weight. The expression of mucin2, a prominent mucus barrier protein, was increased in the metformin-treated group compared to the DSS-treated group. Furthermore, fecal 16S rRNA analysis showed that metformin treatment changed the gut microbiota composition by increasing the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Akkermansia species while decreasing Erysipelatoclostridium at the genus level. Antibiotic treatment partly abolished the anti-inflammatory and mucus-protecting effects of metformin. Administration of A. muciniphila alleviated the colonic inflammation and mucus barrier disruption. Metformin alleviated DSS-induced UC in mice and protected against cell damage via affecting the gut microbiota, thereby providing a new mechanism for the therapeutic effect of metformin in patients with UC. This study also provides evidence that A. muciniphila as a probiotic has potential benefits for UC.
Project description:Psychological disorders are associated with increased risk of severe inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by causing gut microbiota dysbiosis and colonic mucosal barrier damage. However, the interaction between chronic restraint stress (CRS), gut microbiota composition, and colonic mucus remains unclear. We demonstrated that mice under CRS conditions exhibited alterations in microbiota composition, disruption of colonic mucus, and aggravation of colitis. In addition, the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila was significantly decreased in mice under CRS and UC patients with depression, and positively associated with the expression of MUC2. After antibiotic treatment, the recipient mice colonized with CRS microbiota showed barrier defects and severe colitis. Administration of Akkermansia muciniphila was found to restore colonic mucus and modify the gut microbiota. We confirm that CRS-mediated gut microbiota dysbiosis results in colonic mucosal barrier damage and aggravation of colitis. Our results suggest that A. muciniphila is expected to be a potential probiotic to protect and treat colonic mucus that is involved in IBD with psychological disorders.
Project description:Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) develop as a result of complex interactions among genes, innate immunity and environmental factors, which are related to the gut microbiota. Multiple clinical and animal data have shown that Akkermansia muciniphila is associated with a healthy mucosa. However, its precise role in colitis is currently unknown. Our study aimed to determine its protective effects and underlying mechanisms in a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis mouse model. Twenty-four C57BL/6 male mice were administered A. muciniphila MucT or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) once daily by oral gavage for 14 days. Colitis was induced by drinking 2% DSS from days 0 to 6, followed by 2 days of drinking normal water. Mice were weighed daily and then sacrificed on day 8. We found that A. muciniphila improved DSS-induced colitis, which was evidenced by reduced weight loss, colon length shortening and histopathology scores and enhanced barrier function. Serum and tissue levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (TNF-?, IL1?, IL6, IL12A, MIP-1A, G-CSF, and KC) decreased as a result of A. muciniphila administration. Analysis of 16S rDNA sequences showed that A. muciniphila induced significant gut microbiota alterations. Furthermore, correlation analysis indicated that pro-inflammatory cytokines and other injury factors were negatively associated with Verrucomicrobia, Akkermansia, Ruminococcaceae, and Rikenellaceae, which were prominently abundant in A. muciniphila-treated mice. We confirmed that A. muciniphila treatment could ameliorate mucosal inflammation either via microbe-host interactions, which protect the gut barrier function and reduce the levels of inflammatory cytokines, or by improving the microbial community. Our findings suggest that A. muciniphila may be a potential probiotic agent for ameliorating colitis.
Project description:Obesity and type 2 diabetes are characterized by altered gut microbiota, inflammation, and gut barrier disruption. Microbial composition and the mechanisms of interaction with the host that affect gut barrier function during obesity and type 2 diabetes have not been elucidated. We recently isolated Akkermansia muciniphila, which is a mucin-degrading bacterium that resides in the mucus layer. The presence of this bacterium inversely correlates with body weight in rodents and humans. However, the precise physiological roles played by this bacterium during obesity and metabolic disorders are unknown. This study demonstrated that the abundance of A. muciniphila decreased in obese and type 2 diabetic mice. We also observed that prebiotic feeding normalized A. muciniphila abundance, which correlated with an improved metabolic profile. In addition, we demonstrated that A. muciniphila treatment reversed high-fat diet-induced metabolic disorders, including fat-mass gain, metabolic endotoxemia, adipose tissue inflammation, and insulin resistance. A. muciniphila administration increased the intestinal levels of endocannabinoids that control inflammation, the gut barrier, and gut peptide secretion. Finally, we demonstrated that all these effects required viable A. muciniphila because treatment with heat-killed cells did not improve the metabolic profile or the mucus layer thickness. In summary, this study provides substantial insight into the intricate mechanisms of bacterial (i.e., A. muciniphila) regulation of the cross-talk between the host and gut microbiota. These results also provide a rationale for the development of a treatment that uses this human mucus colonizer for the prevention or treatment of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders.
Project description:<i>Akkermansia muciniphila</i> is a commensal bacterium of the gut mucus layer. Although both <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> data have shown that <i>A. muciniphila</i> strains exhibit strain-specific modulation of gut functions, its ability to moderate immunity to ulcerative colitis have not been verified. We selected three isolated human <i>A. muciniphila</i> strains (FSDLZ39M14, FSDLZ36M5 and FSDLZ20M4) and the <i>A. muciniphila</i> type strain ATCC BAA-835 to examine the effects of different <i>A. muciniphila</i> strains on dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. All of the <i>A. muciniphila</i> strains were cultured anaerobically in brain heart infusion medium supplemented with 0.25% type II mucin from porcine stomach. To create animal models, colitis was established in C57BL/6 mice which randomly divided into six groups with 10 mice in each group by adding 3% dextran sulfate sodium to drinking water for 7 days. <i>A. muciniphila</i> strains were orally administered to the mice at a dose of 1 × 10<sup>9</sup> CFU. Only <i>A. muciniphila</i> FSDLZ36M5 exerted significant protection against ulcerative colitis (UC) by increasing the colon length, restoring body weight, decreasing gut permeability and promoting anti-inflammatory cytokine expression. However, the other strains (FSDLZ39M14, ATCC BAA-835 and FSDLZ20M4) failed to provide these effects. Notably, <i>A. muciniphila</i> FSDLZ20M4 showed a tendency to exacerbate inflammation according to several indicators. Gut microbiota sequencing showed that <i>A. muciniphila</i> FSDLZ36M5 supplementation recovered the gut microbiota of mice to a similar state to that of the control group. A comparative genomic analysis demonstrated that the positive effects of <i>A. muciniphila</i> FSDLZ36M5 compared with the FSDLZ20M4 strain may be associated with specific functional genes that are involved in immune defense mechanisms and protein synthesis. Our results verify the efficacy of <i>A. muciniphila</i> in improving UC and provide gene targets for the efficient and rapid screening of <i>A. muciniphila</i> strains with UC-alleviating effects.
Project description:Metformin is commonly used as the first line of medication for the treatment of metabolic syndromes, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Recently, metformin-induced changes in the gut microbiota have been reported; however, the relationship between metformin treatment and the gut microbiota remains unclear. In this study, the composition of the gut microbiota was investigated using a mouse model of high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity with and without metformin treatment. As expected, metformin treatment improved markers of metabolic disorders, including serum glucose levels, body weight, and total cholesterol levels. Moreover, Akkermansia muciniphila (12.44%±5.26%) and Clostridium cocleatum (0.10%±0.09%) abundances increased significantly after metformin treatment of mice on the HFD. The relative abundance of A. muciniphila in the fecal microbiota was also found to increase in brain heart infusion (BHI) medium supplemented with metformin in vitro. In addition to the changes in the microbiota associated with metformin treatment, when other influences were controlled for, a total of 18 KEGG metabolic pathways (including those for sphingolipid and fatty acid metabolism) were significantly upregulated in the gut microbiota during metformin treatment of mice on an HFD. Our results demonstrate that the gut microbiota and their metabolic pathways are influenced by metformin treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent studies have found gut microbiota to be closely associated with onset and perpetuation of UC. Currently, studies about gut microbiota have mainly covered samples collected from the intestinal lumen. However, the luminal flora is only part of the gut microbiota. Studies of the changes in mucosal flora under pathological conditions have been lacking. In this study, we investigated the correlation between the onset of UC and flora changes in different intestinal layers. METHODS:The dextran sulfate sodium(DSS)-induced UC model was established by exposing mice to cycles of DSS. The luminal contents, an inner mucus layer, and outer mucus layer were harvested under sterile conditions. The samples were then analyzed using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA V3?+?V4 amplicons. The colonic microbiota composition and diversity were analyzed and compared using MetaStat, LefSe, multivariate analysis of variance, and spatial statistics. RESULTS:The DSS-induced UC mouse model was successfully established. The diversity of the microbiota from luminal content, the outer mucus layer, and inner mucus layer were significantly different in both control and UC model groups. The statistically different OTUs belonged to Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae families within the order Clostridiales were mainly localized to the outer mucus layer. CONCLUSIONS:The alterations in flora composition and diversity mainly occurred in the colonic outer mucus layer. The change of flora in the colonic mucus layers is of great significance in the understanding of common features of gut flora in IBD and the understanding of the relationship between gut flora and disease progression.
Project description:Gut microbiota play an important part in the pathogenesis of mucosal inflammation, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, owing to the complexity of the gut microbiota, our understanding of the roles of commensal and pathogenic bacteria in the maintenance of immune homeostasis in the gut is evolving only slowly. Here, we evaluated the role of gut microbiota and their secreting extracellular vesicles (EV) in the development of mucosal inflammation in the gut. Experimental IBD model was established by oral application of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to C57BL/6 mice. The composition of gut microbiota and bacteria-derived EV in stools was evaluated by metagenome sequencing using bacterial common primer of 16S rDNA. Metagenomics in the IBD mouse model showed that the change in stool EV composition was more drastic, compared to the change of bacterial composition. Oral DSS application decreased the composition of EV from Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides acidifaciens in stools, whereas increased EV from TM7 phylum, especially from species DQ777900_s and AJ400239_s. In vitro pretreatment of A. muciniphila-derived EV ameliorated the production of a pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from colon epithelial cells induced by Escherichia coli EV. Additionally, oral application of A. muciniphila EV also protected DSS-induced IBD phenotypes, such as body weight loss, colon length, and inflammatory cell infiltration of colon wall. Our data provides insight into the role of gut microbiota-derived EV in regulation of intestinal immunity and homeostasis, and A. muciniphila-derived EV have protective effects in the development of DSS-induced colitis.
Project description:The intestinal microbiota of patients with constipated-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (C-IBS) displays chronic dysbiosis. Our aim was to determine whether this microbial imbalance instigates perturbation of the host intestinal mucosal immune response, using a model of human microbiota-associated rats (HMAR) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced experimental colitis. The analysis of the microbiota composition revealed a decrease of the relative abundance of Bacteroides, Roseburia-Eubacterium rectale and Bifidobacterium and an increase of Enterobacteriaceae, Desulfovibrio sp., and mainly Akkermansia muciniphila in C-IBS patients compared to healthy individuals. The bacterial diversity of the gut microbiota of healthy individuals or C-IBS patients was maintained in corresponding HMAR. Animals harboring a C-IBS microbiota had reduced DSS colitis with a decreased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines from innate, Th1, and Th17 responses. The pre-treatment of conventional C57BL/6 mice or HMAR with A. muciniphila, but not with Escherichia coli, prior exposure to DSS also resulted in a reduction of colitis severity, highlighting that the anti-inflammatory effect of the gut microbiota of C-IBS patients is mediated, in part, by A. muciniphila. This work highlights a novel aspect of the crosstalk between the gut microbiota of C-IBS patients and host intestinal homeostasis.
Project description:Gut barrier function is key in maintaining a balanced response between the host and its microbiome. The microbiota can modulate changes in gut barrier as well as metabolic and inflammatory responses. This highly complex system involves numerous microbiota-derived factors. The gut symbiont Akkermansia muciniphila is positively correlated with a lean phenotype, reduced body weight gain, amelioration of metabolic responses and restoration of gut barrier function by modulation of mucus layer thickness. However, the molecular mechanisms behind its metabolic and immunological regulatory properties are unexplored. Herein, we identify a highly abundant outer membrane pili-like protein of A. muciniphila MucT that is directly involved in immune regulation and enhancement of trans-epithelial resistance. The purified Amuc_1100 protein and enrichments containing all its associated proteins induced production of specific cytokines through activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4. This mainly leads to high levels of IL-10 similar to those induced by the other beneficial immune suppressive microorganisms such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii A2-165 and Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. Together these results indicate that outer membrane protein composition and particularly the newly identified highly abundant pili-like protein Amuc_1100 of A. muciniphila are involved in host immunological homeostasis at the gut mucosa, and improvement of gut barrier function.
Project description:Despite accepted health benefits of dietary fiber, little is known about the mechanisms by which fiber deprivation impacts the gut microbiota and alters disease risk. Using a gnotobiotic model, in which mice were colonized with a synthetic human gut microbiota, we elucidated the functional interactions between dietary fiber, the gut microbiota and the colonic mucus barrier, which serves as a primary defence against pathogens. We show that during chronic or intermittent dietary fiber deficiency, the gut microbiota resorts to host-secreted mucus glycoproteins as a nutrient source, leading to erosion of the colonic mucus barrier. Dietary fiber deprivation promoted greater epithelial access and lethal colitis by the mucosal pathogen, Citrobacter rodentium, but only in the presence of a fiber-deprived microbiota that is pushed to degrade the mucus layer. Our work reveals intricate pathways linking diet, gut microbiome and intestinal barrier dysfunction, which could be exploited to improve health using dietary therapeutics. Germ-free mice (Swiss Webster) were colonized with synthetic human gut microbiota comprising of 14 species belonging to five different phyla (names of bacterial species: Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides ovatus, Bacteroides caccae, Bacteroides uniformis, Barnesiella intestinihominis, Eubacterium rectale, Marvinbryantia formatexigens, Collinsella aerofaciens, Escherichia coli HS, Clostridium symbiosum, Desulfovibrio piger, Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Roseburia intestinalis). These mice were fed either a fiber-rich diet or a fiber-free diet for about 6 weeks. The mice were then sacrificed and their cecal tissues were immediately flash frozen for RNA extraction. The extracted RNA was subjected to microarray analysis based on Mouse Gene ST 2.1 strips using the Affy Plus kit. Expression values for each gene were calculated using robust multi-array average (RMA) method. Overall design: Fiber-rich diet group contained 4 replicate mice (2 independent experiments) and Fiber-free diet group contained 3 replicate mice (2 independent experiments)